START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
2,564,163 people care about Environment & Wildlife

Wolves Killed in Snares Outside of Alaska National Park

Wolves Killed in Snares Outside of Alaska National Park

The trapping deaths of two important wolves from a well-known pack in Alaska’s Denali National Park have conservationists calling for an immediate ban on trapping and the reinstatement of a buffer zone around the park that was eliminated by the Alaska Board of Game two years ago.

One of the wolves, a breeding female from the Grant Creek pack, was lured outside of the park and killed in a snare after a hunter shot a horse to use it as bait, which he left about one mile outside of the park. Another male was also found in a snare nearby.

Coke Wallace, the hunter who set the traps, scoffs at the idea of a buffer zone around the park, insists the wolf was starving anyway and that the wolves he kills have no impact on their population.

Conservationists disagree.

“If you start removing important adults from a family group, a wolf pack, particularly reproductive females, you could have the entire pack disintegrate,” said Rick Steiner, a professor and independent conservation biologist who likens trapping outside the park’s boundary to setting traps around a zoo with no fence.

According to Denali National Park biologist Tom Meier, the female Wallace snared may have looked thin, but had plenty of internal fat. “Coke’s wolf was in a trap for a week and was scavenged by a wolverine before he ever even saw it,” he told the LA Times. “These wolves aren’t starving.’”

The wolf population in the park is at a 20-year low, with just 70 wolves in nine packs. Their numbers are down from 103 wolves in 15 packs as recently as 2006, according to Meier. The only other breeding female was also recently found dead near her den, but appears to have died of natural causes.

Even more troubling is the post-mating season timing of this kill, leaving some to suspect she may have been pregnant, which is causing even more concern about the future of the pack.

“This is one of the most highly valuable, highly viewed wolf packs, not just in Alaska or the nation, but the world. And now they will not have pups this year, almost certainly,” said Steiner.

“It’s always disappointing to lose animals that close to the park boundary, and it also was disappointing because it was inside what used to be … the buffer zone,” said Meier.

Steiner has sent a proposal to Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell asking that they overturn their moratorium on the decision to remove the buffer and to request an emergency end to wolf kills in the area outside the park.

Back to the horse …according to Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG), as unsavory as shooting an elderly horse, using it as bait and leaving it out in the woods to rot is, Wallace hasn’t technically done anything illegal. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), on the other hand, is at least looking into possible water quality violations. That’s probably a good thing since David Braun, who has a cabin nearby, discovered the carcass in a stream that feeds his and other residents’ water supply.

Must be nice to have such considerate neighbors.


Please sign and share the petition asking the Alaska Board of Game to reinstate a buffer zone around the park to protect wolves.

Related Stories:

Canucks Player Under Fire for Bear Baiting

Mountain Lion Shooting Sparks Outrage

House Passes Controversial Pro-Hunting Legislation

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo credit: Thinkstock

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
5:06PM PDT on May 6, 2013

Incredible! Coke Wallace is a ............Fill in the blank. He is the worst kind of human being. What a hunter...sets a trap and doesn't even check it. Trapping should be illegal.

5:12AM PDT on May 3, 2013

Shouldn't that be a place of protection?

9:29PM PST on Feb 16, 2013

It is blatantly obvious to most intelligent and informed people that laws have to be changed to stop the vile, barbaric & inhumane practice of trapping, baiting & trophy hunting. This kind of behavior is something left over from the Dark Ages and has no place in a modern world.

3:48AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

At the appropriate authorities, it is their duty to preserve the life of the community of wolves in the park. You can not afford not hunting or killing as a way of controlling the population of wolves there. You are responsible for your livelihood and must obey laws. The world today looks at companies that fail to protect their animals as companies not deserve your respect. And it is their duty to prevent this from happening. Replace rules protect wolves and not one economic interest to hunters. Ethically you are bound. From Uruguay, South America.

2:19PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

HUNTING with CAMERAS only. Very SICK entities that would trap any animal.

2:59AM PDT on Jun 10, 2012

Already signed, but thank you! for getting this out!

4:38AM PDT on Jun 9, 2012

signed, thanks for sharing

9:54PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

signed. The arguments of those scientists who KNOW, rather than politicians who don't, should be the rule to reinstate the buffer zone.

4:31AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

trapping needs to end NOW!!!!! this is so very cruel to allow the wolf or any animal to be subjected to a trap for days and have to suffer because of a damn human!!!! why can't we just stop all this mistreatment of animals and go on with life just trying to live in harmony and peace with animals and humans???? We need to stop and we could certainly learn a great deal from animals if we just took the time!!!

5:31PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Trapping is a horrible and inhumane way of killing an animal, it should go into the trash can where slavery and dog fighting went. People need to realize that a dead wolf is not better than a live one.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.